Action Comics #327: "Supergirl, Fugitive From Justice!"

Action Comics #327
"Supergirl, Fugitive From Justice!"
August, 1965

Story: Leo Dorfman
Art: Jim Mooney

The name of Supergirl stands for truth, justice, and the American way. She is sworn to stop criminals, but imagine her surprise when the Maid of Might is arrested as a wanted criminal. Even more startling, the Man of Steel aids in the capture of "Supergirl, Fugitive From Justice!" On the splash page, the authorities of Dimension Z have arrived to place Supergirl in chains for the trip back. As she pleads to her cousin to aid her, Superman refuses. They have proven her guilt, and he will not aid a killer. On an Atlantic island, a British destroyer arrives, in answer to a mysterious message received at Scotland Yard. When the inspector heads for land, he meets Colonel Dupre of The French Surete, who tells him about the message he received about a great danger threatening the nation of France.

Director Haynes of the F.B.I. is next to arrive by helicopter. The three men turn to see a space ship materialize nearby. They come from Dimension Z.  Deputies Stix and Hubro present their credentials of the Inter-Dimensional Bureau of Investigation. They are hear to arrest a dangerous criminal from Dimension Z, who calls herself Supergirl. Colonel Dupre laughs at the idea that Supergirl is a criminal. Stix and Hubro invite them onto the ship. They are shown images from a visi-recorder from Dimension Z of Supergirl, who was known as Serpena. It is from the punch card file, the lawmen watch. The daughter of a famous scientist, Serpena began her crooked career by using her father's invention to freeze the hydroponic tank farms.

Using a roto-borer made by her father, Serpena sought valuable minerals for an evil experiment. She causes the buildings of an entire city to cave in! Serpena was jailed, but used the hyper-power from her cell illuminator to melt the bars of her prison door to escape. At her father's lab, she uses the trans-dimensional ship to leave Dimension Z. After years of building the second trans-dimensional ship, they have arrived to take Serpena back. The lawmen believe that they are mistaken, for Supergirl is a heroine, and they seek to prove it to Stix and Hubro.

In America, the ship has arrived outside a federal maximum security prison, filled with inmates who'll attest for Supergirl's character. One tells about the time he heard about a shipment of gold bricks being taken to Fort Knox, and he succeeded in stealing it, as well as making his escape.  Supergirl found the gold with her x-ray vision, painted and cemented in the wall of his home. Stix and Hubro admit that Supergirl does fight against crime in this dimension. At a rocket-test base, they hear how a capsule circled the Earth for a hundred orbits.

There was too much friction upon the descent to Earth, and the parachute was ignited. Supergirl saved the astronaut's life, while cooling the capsule with her super-breath. Stix admits that the astronaut believes her to be a hero. At the National Space Observatory, they learn how the Maid of Might headed for a black nebula in space, which was caused by a giant, metallic space-squid. It was frightened by the light of the sun, and fired an inky cloud in self-defense.  She takes the squid into the darkness of deep space.

The ship heads to where Supergirl is digging up an ancient bed of fossil bones, and is sorting them at super-speed. When finished, they would be placed in a museum she would build. Stix believes that Supergirl has a Jekyll and Hyde split-personality and demands that the lawmen aid in her arrest. Hearing the news, the Maid of Might wonders if this is a joke, and Stix knew that she'd deny being Serpena from Dimension Z. She agrees to cooperate with the F.B.I. and attend a hearing at their office. The following day, Stix accuses her of being Serpena and of escaping from Dimension Z, where there are no super-beings.

Supergirl stops Stix and demonstrates her power of flight, which is a result of her being a Kryptonian under Earth's yellow sun. As she takes her seat, Stix asks her to raise her right boot. He finds a miniature transistorized super-energy cell, which was stolen from Serpena's father's lab, giving her super-powers. He turns it off. When Supergirl tries to fly again, she is unable to. The heroine manages to hurt her knee against a chair, and discovering that she's no longer invulnerable. She insists that she's never seen the device, but Stix is determined to prove her guilt. He accuses her of freezing the hydroponic garden, and committing murder.  This brings her to tears.

Stix brings in Exhibit A, a pair of glass figures which were once living beings. Supergirl insists that she's never taken a life. Stix brings in a portable visi-recorder to show how Serpena stepped into an experimental brain evolution machine, which caused a third eye to grow on the back of her head. The eye caused whatever is glanced by it to turn to glass. When two lab assistants enter and see Serpena's transformation, they, too, are turned to glass.

When the visi-recorder is switched off, Supergirl demands to see the figures. When Stix seeks to bar her, he bumps into the figures, and the evidence is destroyed. Supergirl wishes that Superman were present to testify on her behalf, but he's on a space mission. Stix says that this is a lie.  The Man of Steel has agreed to testify against her. She is relieved to see him and asks him to tell how she's his Kryptonian cousin. He says that he's been fooled by her simulated super-powers and has been aware of her criminal tendencies for some time. This ties in with Stix's story. She insists that she has been a force for good, but the Man of Steel tells how the previous week, they were repairing a collapsing steel bridge.

She is certain that this should prove that she's a heroine. Superman shows a piece of the bridge with her hand's imprint, which weakened the bridge in the first place. Supergirl recalls nothing of this. He tells her how she's led a Jekyll-Hyde existence for years, and how he's covered up for her in hopes that she'd use her powers properly. Now the evil has outweighed the good. Stix points out that Supergirl got her powers from the device on her boot. When she insists that she's never seen the device, Supergirl realizes that she can prove her innocence since she doesn't have a third eye. Superman finds it on the back of her head, beneath her hair. Naturally, she was never aware of it, then wonders how the Man of Steel hasn't been turned to glass. He figures that it's because he's invulnerable or because her power doesn't work in this dimension.

She asks Superman about her childhood memories, her life on Argo City, her arrival on Earth,and her parents in the Bottle City of Kandor. He tells her these are figments of her imagination, designed to conceal her evil personality. Her Jekyll-Hyde career is over and she is to be sent back to Dimension Z to answer for her crimes. Upon seeing the manacles, Supergirl runs out of the office, with Superman, Stix, and Hubro in pursuit. She ducks behind a locked door, but Superman breaks it down. Supergirl asks where his loyalty lies, but the Man of Steel is sworn to uphold the law. Supergirl is chained, but knows that Superman wouldn't lie to her.

She is led to the trans-dimensional ship, and asks to say goodbye to the Danvers, then asks if they were figments of her imagination, too? The Man of Steel assures her that they are real, but it would be better if they didn't learn that their foster-daughter is a criminal, and he'll cover for her absence. She boards the ship, and as the ship heads for Dimension Z, she is to be punished for crimes she does not remember committing.

Stix and Hubro look like actors from an old Republic serial or Flash Gordon one, which is a delight.

The roto-borer is a vehicle which Cave Carson would envy.

Its slogan would probably be, "Call Roto-Borer, that's the name, and away goes the city down the drain!"

On Earth, we have electricity and lights, and on Dimension Z, they have hyper-power and illuminators.

Their illuminator bills must be astronomical.

A Space-Squid inks the sun.

Let's hope that the universe feels like calamari tonight.

At least the Sun-Eater won't give it indigestion.

In The Silver Age, Marvel had the law firm of Nelson and Murdock.

The Bottle City of Kandor had their lawyers.

On Lexor, when Superman was accused of killing Luthor, he received legal counsel.

In The Incredible Hulk #138, a transfusion from the Sandman would cause Betty Ross to become a being of immobile glass.

Iris Jacobs, a character in Karate Kid's book,  was turned into the Deadly Diamondeth.

Steve Chung
"Supergirl, Fugitive From Review!"